Buttercup found fame last year following her inspiring story of transformation from skin and bones rescue pony to prize-winning showing star under the care of World Horse Welfare.
And now Buttercup’s story has a happy ending, as she has just left the charity’s care at the charity’s Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Lancashire to move to her new life as a companion pony to a lucky rehomer’s own horse, Tilly.
Buttercup generated a lot of interest among potential rehomers due to her good looks, lovely easy-going temperament and her high-profile show win, but the eventual lucky rehomer lives just 15 minutes from Penny Farm.
Once the match was made, Buttercup joined the growing number of horses and ponies that World Horse Welfare have been able to rehome since restrictions have eased slightly and rehoming could begin again. Each animal that is rehomed frees up space in the charity’s rescue and rehoming centres for other horses in desperate need. Rehoming the large number of horses and ponies currently in the centres who are ready for this next step in their lives is a priority as there are horses still coming into the care of the charity and all the centres are at capacity.
Karen Wright, World Horse Welfare Penny Farm Assistant Centre Manager said: “It is wonderful to see Buttercup leaving for her new home although we will miss her a lot, she was a real favourite here at Penny Farm. The difference in her from when she arrived is simply incredible and she has the sweetest temperament. Buttercup loaded on the lorry happily and we delivered her to her rehomer, so that social distancing could be adhered to, something that we are obviously having to consider with each rehoming, but being able to rehome our horses again is enabling us to offer help for other horses in need.”
Buttercup had come into the care of World Horse Welfare in June 2018, just skin and bones and with no interest in her surroundings. It was touch and go as the painfully slow process of returning her to health began but a few days later, to everyone’s great surprise, she produced a foal, named Frieda. Too weak to provide for her foal the decision was made to separate them so that the foal could be hand reared and has since been rehomed.
Growing in strength and condition, Buttercup later went on to win the rescue class at Equifest last year, a horse show at the East of England Showground near Peterborough.
Buttercup’s original story:
Buttercup was rescued in a dreadful state: she was so emaciated that her bones protruded and the skin over them was covered in sores from rubbing as she lay on the ground. She was almost too weak to stand and showed no interest in anything going on around her.
A few mornings later, astonishingly, she produced a foal, a filly (female) which was later named Freida. Buttercup was so weak that she couldn’t care for her foal and the decision was made to move them both, so they could both receive specialist round-the-clock care. Her foal, Frieda, was hand-reared by the dedicated Penny Farm team and thrived in their care and has now been rehomed as a youngster.
Buttercup’s recovery took time but once she was eventually strong enough the staff at Penny Farm started doing some in-hand exercise with her, helping her to build her strength, muscle and flexibility. Realising that she might do well in in-hand showing, she was taken to Equifest last year, a horse show at the East of England Showground near Peterborough. Buttercup was crowned champion of the special rescue classes, a picture of health and an incredible transformation from the desperately thin animal that originally came into World Horse Welfare.